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Cuba

In 1952 there was an international tournament in Havana.  During the event, there was a revolution in Cuba.  The President who sponsored the tournament was deposed.  The Mexican entrants were recalled by their government.  Finally, the Cuban champion, Juan Quesada, playing in the event died of a heart attack.  His funeral was attended by all the masters participating.   In 1965 Cuba linked up to the Marshall Chess Club in  New York by telex to allow Fischer to play in the Capablanca Memorial tournament being held in Havana.  Each game lasted up to seven hours.   After the event, Cuba had to pay the bill of over $10,000.  Dr Jose Raul Capablanca, son of the late World Champion, transmitted the move in Havana.  Cuba spent over $5 million on the 1966 Olympiad held in Havana.  Castro played several exhibition games including a draw with Grandmaster Tigran Petrosian.  The first open international tournament held in Cuba took place in 1992 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Havana as the capital of the island.  Chess came to Cuba with Columbus.  Chess is mentioned as being played in Cuba in 16th century books.  By the way, Jose Capablanca was never champion of Cuba.  His only appearance in the Cuban championship was in 1901, and he took 4th place.

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